Skip Nav
L'Oréal's New Mascara Might Actually Be Better Than Sex
Beauty Shopping
These 8 Lotions Smell So Good – You'll Want to Eat Them
Personal Essay
5 Reasons Department Store Makeup Artists Won't Give You the Time of Day

What Should Beauty Editors Do With Swag?

Wowza. I always knew that magazine editors got swag, but wait until you hear about this one. Fashion Week Daily reports that beauty editors received a very generous holiday gift: a Chanel 2.55 bag. Very nice indeed. In her new book, Nadine Haobsh talks about the immense perks of beauty editors — free trips, bags, jewelry, and the like — and I have to admit, some of the swag is really over the top.

This tangentially reminds me of a year-old story in which an Allure editor was fired for asking for beauty samples from companies, then selling them on eBay before they were on the market. Ruh-roh.

So I've got to ask you: Are you surprised by the extent of the goodies that magazine editors get? Do you think it's appropriate, or is it just another perk of the job? And what do you think they should do with the stuff?


Join The Conversation
Bee333 Bee333 9 years
Was it in Allure (??)...there were photo's of the rooms with PILES UPON PILES of handbags, cosmetics, etc. they receive for review, not just the bonus swag or items staffers already took! I think it's a question of ETHICS. In my previous employ, I had some perks, but nothing gratuitous. I'm college educated. My pay sucked, I did the work of at least three people, and I was pretty 'important'. I received kindly gestures from my own contacts/networking, but neither demanded nor expected them. I gave away tickets/special invites to others as perks, esp. volunteers. (Tickets don't really cost anything more than the ink and paper they're printed on if your base is covered!) It is also different to bring in a reasonable lunch to make it worth the time of a donor or officials where it's a matter of your employ remaining open or having funding. For-profit companies are motivated by $$$$, even those who give to charities. (Consumers pay into their charities too via purchases.) Also, journalism is known not to be high-paying--like any job you pretty much know what you're getting into--swag isn't 'deserved' and writers shouldn't brag about it. That said, I generally pay most attention to the reader picks more than editor's picks. How much $$$$$$ does all the swag/freebies add up to? Like drug companies, the costs come out of somewhere...including the general consumer pockets. Celebrity swag...heh. It must hard carrying armfuls of bags after a $1,000 shopping spree. Celebrities rank at the bottom, low to 0 influence over my purchases; it's a job for them. Beauty/fashion mag' that's the heavy. Swag is swell, but if it's a matter of influence, ethically wrong. It's free advertising and backing for companies/designers, over-greasing. Why even go there? I think editors/companies feed off each other. Cool dream job, but gratuitous bribery. How much of the sampled full-sized cosmetics and personal care items hit the trash? Companies know that it's human nature for people to react more favorably when "free" is involved. Who subscribes to the mag's? Mostly people who can't afford the promoted lifestyles, won't admit it, or living in debt. As if having more is ever enough. I think it's nice to offer items to shelters, but is one designer frock or bag or expensive cosmetic going to set the person on the right track? Though, I wouldn't give a destitute person a Chanel lipstick unless it's magical. A that would be handy! Not the safest thing to carry around, esp while visiting unemployment or potential employer, but if feeling good is what counts... I say, bring it on! Spread the joy to the masses! Our money talks. Mag's should do a random draw of the subscribers and surprise us all! --*Sorry, it wafts of my MIL getting free leftover food from a school for herself and unloading the rest on other people (save the leftovers!!) thusly making her feel good. (FIL wouldn't eat it! I refuse that which is nutritionally lacking, was supposed to be tossed for a reason, and didn't want the inherited guilt of throwing it away.)
lilstacylou lilstacylou 9 years
I think they should give it away to us!!! :)
BeautyEditor BeautyEditor 9 years
As a beauty editor (who may or may not have received the Chanel bag), I'd say of course! It's a part of the job - everyone knows editorial isn't a cash cow. Perks definitely fill in the gaps. And #35, we generally do sell leftover beauty booty to other staffers, and give the money to charity. Most mags do it twice a year. And #24, the leftover of what doesn't sell does generally get sent to shelters.
smart-blonde smart-blonde 9 years
Substitute "beauty products" for "book products" and that's my job. In addition to my day job I'm a reviewer for two well-known professional journals, and a lot of times publishers send me advance copies or finished copies just to see if I'll publicize them. I also get invited to publishing previews and parties. I say enjoy the perks, because they're fewer and further between than most people would believe.
Ava-Gardner Ava-Gardner 9 years
Journalism isn't very well well paid, so I say, enjoy the freebies but please try to remain impartial when reviewing products etc.
mirawilliams mirawilliams 9 years
Enjoy the perks, state that you get them so your readers know that you aren't completely unbiased. One would hope the readers are smart enough to make their own decisions.
motherhelen motherhelen 9 years
I have always wanted to receive one of the "goodie bags" that actresses and beauty editors receive. I love to try new products and items. I'd be more than happy to take extra goodies or swag bags off their hands!
KathleenxCouture KathleenxCouture 9 years
They are usually receiving those gifts for reasons. 1 being the company wants the editor to review the bags or beauty samples so that consumers can get an idea of the products and the products in the meantime get press and sell better. I think this is an excellent marketing strategy if the editors are doing their part right as well. All i have to say is LUCKY EDITORS! lol I think they should review it (for people like me that might be interested in buying it) and enjoy it!! I know I'd love to be in their shoes so why shouldn't they be allowed to enjoy free stuff
mrsk02 mrsk02 9 years
Why not enjoy the perk of getting the nice swag?The Chanel bag is one perk I would accept without hesitation.
Carri Carri 9 years
I say it's a perk. But selling it on eBay? Big no no!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
That is just an amazing perk of the job, so I say enjoy it.
HipMom HipMom 9 years
I think they should enjoy it as one of the perks of their job, but they shoulnd't sell the stuff they get for free - if they don't want it, I'm sure they can find plenty of people to give it away to :-)
Karla-Sugar Karla-Sugar 9 years
Send them to ME, dangit! Oh how I wish I were in that position. I mean, trips and posh handbags would be nice, but I'd be happy to be sent free makeup to review.
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
Besides, integrity can't be bought. Everyone knows those the purpose of those "gifts".
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
I think they should turn down gifts because no matter WHAT, they will most definitely be biased in reviews. It's like if a complete stranger and a best friend were arguing, regardless of how fair you are (I'm a very fair Libra) you're just going to see things better from your friend's point of view unless she was COMPLETELY wrong (or the product was complete crap).
emg2114 emg2114 9 years
Donate it to a charity auction. I'd bid on some of that swag, especially for a good cause.
Lala538 Lala538 9 years
I would enjoy the gifts and the one's I didn't like I would give them away to my best friends! :)
aehunter86 aehunter86 9 years
It's fine to keep some gifts and maybe give some to your girlfriends and such, but what about maybe auctioning some stuff off for charity (rather than for cash)
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 9 years
Sure, it would be nice to get all that stuff, but how do you give a bad review then? Does that ever happen?
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
The editor should have been more careful...maybe if she hadn't asked the company to send her swag it wouldn't have been so bad if she secretly sold it all off. But overall if the swag was sent as part of the job, then I don't see anything wrong in using it. If the swag is sent as presents though, then the editors should be free to do whatever they like with them.
Kaciegrrl Kaciegrrl 9 years
Enjoy it! Swag is just one of the awesome perks :D
gigill gigill 9 years
Journalistically I think beauty editors should accept samples only to make sure reviews aren't biased. Gifts and other schwag could sway a beauty editor's opinion in a favourable direction and it's not fair to the readers. I work in journalism and I've heard reporters say that when they've been sent on a luxurious press junket or open bar party that it does then to slant their writing in favour of the person providing the gift/trip/party etc.
jnm9jem jnm9jem 9 years
it is one thing to take samples as they are offered to you, but it is another thing to ask for them. there is nothing wrong with accepting a gift, but asking for them is wrong (and especially selling them after you ask for them!!)
starbright14 starbright14 9 years
I would say it should be a perk of the job!!
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
all the free cosmetics and clothes i get i keep it!! Muhahhhhaahaha. but i do give a lot of it to friends and family. i'm not stupid, i wouldn't put it on eBay!
From Our Partners
Latest Beauty
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds